Lucas Names House Ag Committee Leadership

New House Ag Committee members and subcommittee chairs named.

With the change in House majority to Republicans, Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma will now chair the agriculture committee. As chair, Lucas says he will not address the 2012 Farm Bill immediately, saying the fiscal mood in Washington will be better in 2012. Lucas says there will be fewer dollars to work with but pledges he will work hard to protect the interests of farmers as the farm bill is developed in either 2011 or 2012.

He's been very critical of the growing power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a statement he states, "It is imperative we prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from imposing standards which would cripple American agriculture and stifle economic growth in rural communities."

He's also a strong supporter of free trade, and has called for the implementation of three pending free trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Colombia. Interestingly Rep. Collin Peterson, the now ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, never voted in favor of a free trade agreement in all his years in Congress.

Members and subcommittee chairs

Lucas named six members to serve as subcommittee chairmen of the House Agriculture Committee Dec. 21. He also released a complete list of the Republican roster for the 112th Congress and named Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., as vice chairman of the full committee.

"Our subcommittee chairmen have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring the success of American agriculture and rural economies. They are ready to join me in addressing the challenges that farmers, ranchers, and small businesses face across rural America. The next year will be an exercise in educating our freshmen members on both sides of the aisle, providing oversight of the administration and building a strong working relationship as we prepare to reauthorize the farm bill in 2012," said Chairman-elect Frank Lucas.  

Lucas designated the following Subcommittee Chairmen and their jurisdictions (listed alphabetically by subcommittee name):

  • Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-5):  Conservation, Energy, and Forestry
    Jurisdiction:  Soil, water, and resource conservation, small watershed program, energy and biobased energy production, rural electrification, forestry in general and forest reserves other than those created from the public domain.
  • Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1):  Department Operations, Oversight, and Credit
    Jurisdiction:  Agency oversight, review and analysis, special investigations, and agricultural credit.
  • Rep. K. Michael Conaway, (TX-11):  General Farm Commodities and Risk Management
    Jurisdiction:  Program and markets related to cotton, cottonseed, wheat, feed grains, soybeans, oilseeds, rice, dry beans, peas, lentils, the Commodity Credit Corporation, risk management, including crop insurance, commodity exchanges, and specialty crops.
  • Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16):  Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry
    Jurisdiction: Livestock, dairy, poultry, meat, seafood and seafood products, inspection, marketing, and promotion of such commodities, aquaculture, animal welfare, and grazing.
  • Rep. Jean Schmidt (OH-2):  Nutrition and Horticulture
    Jurisdiction:  Food stamps, nutrition and consumer programs, fruits and vegetables, honey and bees, marketing and promotion orders, plant pesticides, quarantine, adulteration of seeds and insect pests, and organic agriculture.
  • Rep. Timothy V. Johnson (IL-15):  Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture
    Jurisdiction:  Rural Development, farm security and family farming matters, biotechnology, foreign agriculture assistance, and trade promotion programs, generally.

Republican members of the agriculture committee are Frank D. Lucas (OK), Chairman-elect, Bob Goodlatte (VA), Vice Chairman-elect, Timothy V. Johnson (IL), Steve King (IA), Randy Neugebauer (TX), K. Michael Conaway (TX), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Jean Schmidt (OH), Glenn Thompson (PA), and Tom Rooney (FL). New Members include Rick Crawford (AR), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Renee Elmers (NC), Stephen Fincher (TN), Bob Gibbs (OH), Chris Gibson (NY), Vicky Hartzler (MO), Tim Huelskamp (KS), Randy Hultgren (IL), Reid Ribble (WI), Martha Roby (AL), Bobby Schilling (IL), Austin Scott (GA), Steve Southerland (FL), Marlin Stutzman (IN), and Scott Tipton (CO).


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